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Mathbabe, the book

April 30, 2013

Thanks to a certain friendly neighborhood mathbabe reader, I’ve created this mathbabe book, which is essentially all of my posts that I ever wrote (I think. Note sure about that.) bundled together mostly by date and stuck in a huge pdf. It comes to 1,243 pages.

I did it using leanpub.com, which charges $0.99 per person who downloads the pdf. I’m not charging anything over that, because the way I look at it, it’s already free.

Speaking of that, I can see why I’d want a copy of this stuff, since it’s the best way I can think of to have a local version of a bunch of writing I’ve done over the past couple of years, but I don’t actually see why anyone else would. So please don’t think I’m expecting you to go buy this book! Even so, more than one reader has requested this, so here it is.

And one strange thing: I don’t think it required my password on WordPress.com to do it, I just needed the url for the RSS feed. So if you want to avoid paying 99 cents, I’m pretty sure you can go to leanpub or one of its competitors and create another, identical book using that same feed.

And for that matter you can also go build your own book about anything using these tools, which is pretty cool when you think about it. Readers, please tell me if there’s a way to do this that’s open source and free.

Categories: musing
  1. April 30, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Why not use the free, open source, Open Office Write word processor, create your PDF, upload it to Google Docs, and publish the link to it for everyone to download? That DropBox daemon that wants to share a folder on your personal computer seems invasive? Has it been penetration-tested? Is it safe? Does it have a backdoor?


  2. Mark Rothe
    April 30, 2013 at 9:58 am

    As a retired professor of business, I find MathBabe a brilliant commentator on many issues, and especially on math and public policy. As a fan, I was already wondering when she might publish in book form, and am glad a first effort (via “leanpub”) is out. I have my copy, get yours now! πŸ™‚


  3. Natasha Polyakova
    April 30, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Ah, thank you so much! I love your blog (although discovered it fairly recently thanks to Alphaville) and will finally be able to have the full history on my kindle.


  4. Leon Kautsky
    April 30, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Lol, you know the tech you’re lauding is usually to extract cash from the ignorant right?
    The scam usually works as follows: on various epub book sites they release a bunch of “books” you’ve never heard of by authors you have heard of. You buy a bunch to discover that: It’s re-bundled blog posts!

    It’s a great scam. Best of luck!


  5. mathematrucker
    April 30, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    “more than one reader has requested this”

    Pretty sure I was one of them (if not a requester then at least a suggester). Just downloaded my copy.


  6. Evelyn Mitchell
    April 30, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Open Source tools for creating books:

    BookType: for collaborative authoring

    Sphinx: used to create the Python Documentation

    And for reproducible research (explanation + data + code):

    IPython notebooks: http://ipython.org/notebook.html

    knitr: http://yihui.name/knitr/

    dexy; http://www.dexy.it/


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